We believe that knowledge is power and we want you to have more of it. The best realtors can engage their customers in conversation on a wide-range of topics, from business trends and shifting political landscapes to the latest happenings in the world of sports, art, and pop-culture. We've summarized the biggest happenings from these sectors so that you don't have to.
Market Snapshot (Feb. 26th - March. 2nd)
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- Dow Jones: 24,538 (-3.06%)
- S&P 500: 2,691 (-2.04%)
- Nasdaq: 7,258 (-1.12%)
Trade war challenges, inflation worries, and the end of earnings season dropped stocks last week to make February Wall Street's worst month in 2 years, according to Market Snacks.
- A $70 million Picasso sale last quarter drove up the price of auction house Sotheby's stock.
- Shares of Walmart rose 2% after it announced it will partake in the $2.5 billion meal kit industry, by launching new meal kit pick-ups at 250 stores right now and 1,750 more by year-end. The Walmart Culinary & Innovation Center will craft the mini-feasts.
- Amazon made its 2nd biggest acquisition ever by acquiring Ring, a security camera/doorbell/intercom device for more than $1 billion dollars.
- Kohl's quarterly revenues grew 9% to $6.7 billion, while it continues to add more discount Aldi mini-grocers into a bunch of its locations.
- Blue Apron, one of the original meal kit subscription companies, stock dropped by 5% following the announcement by Walmart. Blue Apron also lost half its stock value since last June's IPO, as Amazon bought Whole Foods and launched AmazonFresh meal kits.
- Macy's holiday sales slipped 3.7% and it had to closed 16 of its own stores. It opened 30 new locations for its cheaper Backstage chain, as retail companies are now dependent on their budget-brand offspring to stay afloat.
- Ford and Boeing stock dropped following President Trump’s announcement to place higher tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum. The new tariffs will drive up production costs.
- Fitbit's sales dropped 17% over the holidays as it struggles to stay relevant and compete with other more popular smart watches.
Other Market News
- Amongst last week’s most impactful headlines, President Trump said he'll impose the biggest US tariff in decades wherein foreign steel and aluminum would be taxed 25% and 10% upon entering America. Stocks of US Steel and AK Steel rose 4% since their US-made material will be more competitive.
- Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 1.3 percent, while Japan’s Topix index closed 1.3 percent higher with exporters leading the gains. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.7 percent higher at 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time in a broad-based rally. S&P 500 futures added 0.3 percent, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.883 percent and gold was higher.
- Amazon-Nest Feud: Amazon has decided not to offer Nest’s newest smart-home products — a move that prompted Google-owned Nest to stop selling any of its wares on Amazon once current stock runs out, according to the editorial team at LinkedIn. It’s the latest battle in an escalating war between the two tech giants; in December, Google removed YouTube from Amazon’s Fire TV and Echo devices. Nest, previously an Alphabet subsidiary, was recently reabsorbed into Google’s hardware division — streamlining the unit to better compete against its rival.
- Lyft is teaming up with Allscripts to get people to the doctor, just days after Uber launched its own patient transportation service, Uber Health. Lyft’s partnership builds upon existing deals with health providers to get patients to and from appointments; the ride-hailing company will incorporate its technology with Allscripts so cars no longer need to be ordered manually. 180,000 physicians — and an estimated 7 million patients — will be able to use Lyft’s service.
- The city of Boca Raton and its Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District bought the former Ocean Breeze Golf Club this past Monday. The 27-hole golf course at 5801 Northwest Second Avenue sold for $24 million dollars. The renovated golf course, will be called Boca Raton National Golf Club, and is set to open by late 2019 or early 2020, according to the Sun Sentinel.
- Claudio Lottenberg, CEO of UnitedHealth Group in Brazil, just closed on unit 3601 at Jade Signature in Sunny Isles Beach. Lottenberg has shown a lot of interest in South Florida real estate, he purchased a unit at Fendi Château last year for 11 million.
- Vacant waterfront properties are in high demand throughout Miami-Dade County. Due to the short supply, real estate developers are targeting older, existing condo buildings and buying out the owners at premium prices. When the developers get a hold of the old building it comes down, replaced by a bigger, state-of-the-art luxury tower. This process is called “condo termination”, read more here.
Industry Trends & Marketing Strategies [Inman.com Picks for the Week]:
- 7 Home Staging Mistakes Only Rookies Make: For the most part, home sales are decided by the intrinsic value and appeal of the home, along with the selling price, but you shouldn’t underestimate the impact that home staging (the act of cleaning and altering the home for presentation) can have on the speed and final price of the sale, writes Larry Alton. Read more.
- How to score real estate listings using GooglePlus: As is the case with many of its competitors in the social media landscape, the Google Plus platform has evolved over time, and in its current iteration, it’s arguably more useful than ever before, says Jon Starwalt. Read more.
- 3 tips for real estate video marketing newbies: The key to success in real estate is marketing with a strategy to build your brand and develop your customer base, especially as a new agent, according to a recent article by Sam Benson. Right now, in 2018, the best way to do both build a brand and develop a customer base is by creating marketing videos. Read more.
U.S. News & Foreign Affairs:
- Government officials from Canada, Mexico, the European Union, and China expressed strong dissatisfaction to President Trump’s tariff announcement (Canada is the US’s largest supplier of steel and aluminum, and Mexico is the nation’s fourth biggest source of steel). Foreign officials have promised to retaliate by punishing US export industries with tariffs, leaving Harley Davidson, Jack Daniels, and Maine lobster amongst those in the cross-hairs of new foreign tariffs. The latest round (the seventh) of NAFTA negotiations will end today in Mexico City.
- At home, President Trump took criticism from the media on the topic of gun control, with critics attacking him for seemingly contradictory policy. As the national debate around gun control continues escalate, LL Bean, Kroger, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Walmart have exercised their right to ban gun and ammo sales to people under 21 years of age, according to Market Snacks. Dick's has banned assault rifles altogether.
- If you’re looking for some good news to balance the political conversation, Dan McLaughlin’s stock of Donald Trump’s first year accomplishments for the National Review is worth a read.
Local & State:
- Florida Senate narrowly approved a bill, 20-18, to invest millions of dollars of state money into school safety programs in response to the Parkland shooting. According to the Miami Herald the new program calls for multiple trained school personnel to carry firearms in case of an emergency.
- Donna Shalala, the former University of Miami president and Health and Human Services secretary, is officially running as a Democrat hoping to replace retiring Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen this upcoming election cycle according to paperwork filed with Federal Election Committee this Monday. Shalala has never run for elected office, but her local recognition should put her in the forefront of the Democratic primary. To read more click here.
- Miami’s top administrators met with David Beckham’s partner, Jorge Mas, to discuss building a Major League Soccer stadium on the city-owned Melreese golf course instead of the previously proposed nine acre lot in Overtown. Building the stadium on the Melreese golf court would allow Beckham and his partners to develop a large soccer complex, youth academy, restaurant and retail space with an adjoining tech oriented office complex.
National Football League:
- This past weekend was the 2018 NFL Combine, where upcoming college football players demonstrate their skills in front of NFL scouts. The highlight of the weekend was Central Florida linebacker Shaquem Griffin’s astonishing display, the 227-pound linebacker ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds and benched pressed 225 lbs. for 29 repetitions.
- Hollywood gathered on Sunday at the 90th Academy Awards, where the presence of the #MeToo and “Time’s Up” movements were felt following recent sexual misconduct scandals in the industry. Amongst the evening’s most memorable moments included Jordan Peele making history as the first African-American to win for Best Original Screenplay, for “Get Out.”
- Continuing with the Academy Awards, Chile’s ‘A Fantastic Woman’ won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. The film, directed and co-written by Sebastián Lelio, marked Chile’s first Oscar victory in that category. It had been considered a favorite to win the award.
- Other noteworthy winners from Sunday night, “The Shape of Water” took the Oscar for Best Picture; meanwhile Guillermo del Toro won Best Director; and Coco – a love letter to Mexico – won the Oscar for Best Animated Film.
Quote of the Week
All the opinions expressed by Juan Artiles in this newsletter are solely his opinions. You should not treat any opinion expressed by his as a specific inducement to make a particular investment or follow a particular strategy, but only as an expression of his opinions.